In a recent editorial in the New York Times, there is a write up about the World Food Crisis. A small blurb from this editorial states:
“The United States and other developed countries need to step up to the plate. The rise in food prices is partly because of uncontrollable forces — including rising energy costs and the growth of the middle class in China and India. This has increased demand for animal protein, which requires large amounts of grain. ”
It is with this paragraph that I take issue as to where the food crisis is being directed. Yes, more developed countries should develop more food, especially in a world food crisis, but should we be spending time developing food for other food (animal protein) to consume? What about the ‘food’ we grow in a food crisis situation that is going to be BURNED as fuel? Doesn’t that seem counter productive in a food crisis situation – to burn food to transport food?
To pressure the increase of grain for animal consumption seems like robbing Peter to pay Paul as well. Why not let the animals eat hay and grass? Let the humans eat grain along with any grass feed animals. See the double product there? A two-for-one deal rather than a food for food deal.
In a food crisis, animal protein is as important as grain, but to use one item that is in crisis to fix another is counter productive. There are more solutions to the food crisis than having it prey upon itself in a cycle that ends with no winning plan.
What I believe would assist in solving the crisis in the United States is to encourage people to buy local produce, support gardening cooperatives and local agricultural sources for their animal protein. Also we need to encourage more growth of grain, more grass-fed animals and fuel rationing. I am a child of the 70’s – we lived through rationing just fine. It would do our younger generation some good to see that sacrifice solves a crisis more often than thinking in circles.